Enjoying what we do. Our “stimulating, curious, humble and easy to work with” team is ultimately what makes us who we are. Here are the stories of a few of our team members who exemplify our culture and values.
Alessandro Di Fiore is one of the most influential global voices in shaping how we think about and practice innovation and strategy. He is the originator of the concept of the Insight-Driven Organization and is the leading global thinker on the power of democratization to generate the strategic insights organizations now need.
In 2016 he was included in the Thinkers50 Radar as one of the 30 global thinkers most likely to influence the future of management and organizations (see more at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKWk6sd3ERY).
Alessandro has worked in management consulting for more than two decades. Along the way he has advised more than 25 Fortune 500 companies throughout the world on strategy and organizational change.
Alessandro started his career as a product manager at Colgate-Palmolive. He went on to work at Gemini Consulting, a large international consulting group, where he was responsible for Life Sciences in continental Europe, Managing Director for Italy and global head of its Market Focused Strategy Center of Excellence. In 2000 Alessandro founded his first European boutique strategy firm, Venture Consulting. The firm was sold in 2008 to Tefen, an international management consulting company floated on the Tel Aviv stock exchange. Alessandro went on to found ECSI in 2010 with the aim of creating a truly unique global consulting firm.
Alessandro’s research and ideas are keenly followed by audiences throughout the world. He is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review. In addition, he is author of a number of Harvard Business School cases, as well as articles published worldwide by the London Business School Business Review, The Rotman Management Magazine, LSE Review, Business Strategy Review and others. He speaks at conferences worldwide.
Alessandro is a member of YPO-WPO, the largest organization for CEOs and Presidents in the world. He has been a board member of the International Education Committee for YPO-WPO since 2010-14 and was responsible for global innovation. He sits on the board of several European companies.
“Sometimes you have to suspend reality in order to understand new possibilities.”
I started my career as consultant at IBM in New York working on cyber-security and biometrics projects that opened up my perspective on how emerging technologies can disrupt old industries and create new markets. I invented a security patent that is licensed to IBM which helped me understand how the traditional ‘closed’ innovation process works in large enterprises.
During my MBA at London Business School I co-founded a crowdsourcing platform business that used open innovation competitions to solve R&D challenges for enterprises. Having grown that startup into Europe’s largest OI platform for technology challenges we were successfully acquired by InnoCentive in the USA. I then stayed on to lead the European efforts of the merged entity and revamped the enterprise version of our products.
After that I became the Chief-AI-Officer of Zyncd a German based startup, which is using artificial intelligence to faster assess the skills of workers based on their digital footprints.
After years of collaboration as external expert, in January 2017 I joined ECSI Consulting in London with the ambition and responsibility to accelerate the open innovation practice of the company.
I serve on the Boards of Directors for the crowd-funding company CrowdHut and the foreign-language teaching startup Language on Stage in the UK.
I live in London and Munich and whenever I can, I spend time outdoors with my wife and two little sons.
“Enjoy what you are doing and the people around you…that’s the real Blue Ocean.”
My starting point was rationality and analysis. I have an MBA from INSEAD and then worked in consulting – with Gemini Consulting, one of the largest strategy firms in the 1990s, then Venture Consulting which was acquired by Tefen. I became General Manager of Tefen Italy and then Tefen Europe.
So far, so predictable. But then I realized that I like to work with people and for people; that I am happy when I see clients satisfied with the work we have done, when colleagues continue to learn and improve, and when I work in a positive and supportive environment.
The reality is that the rational and emotional elements are both needed in our work.
Rationally, in the consulting industry there is increased commoditization and a shift from an advisory role to an outsourcing approach. The reality is that a generalist management consulting is no longer sustainable. Specialization and differentiation are key.
Differentiation is in the DNA of ECSI. Our focus on strategic innovation is consistent with the acceleration of technology and business model innovations. We add value to customers through new ideas and solutions, both methodological and content-driven.
Emotionally, we work on fresh challenges and trends, with great clients who are pushing their companies into new and fascinating worlds. All this is engaging and provides a huge positive force and momentum to our work. And, it is no coincidence that many of the people at ECSI have worked together before. It is greatly rewarding to share my experiences and working days with a group of people I appreciate for their professional competences and personal values.
Rational plus emotional is uniquely powerful.
“Innovation starts with a change in perspective”
Before joining ECSI, I worked with a number of international management consulting firms. I led dozens of projects in a variety of sectors, companies and cultures. These experiences made me a well-rounded project manager able to design and implement complex assignments for Fortune 500 companies in the areas of strategy, organization, sales, and operations.
These consulting projects were an enjoyable and important foundation. What was missing was building creativity and strategic thinking into the business of our clients.
ECSI fulfills that missing element. Compared to traditional consulting firms, ECSI stands out for a number of reasons. At ECSI we help our clients challenge long-held assumptions of their markets. Through new lenses, we change the way our clients look at their ecosystem and imagine new answers to old problems.
Since I joined, ECSI has given me the best of both worlds: dynamic and interesting consulting assignments for Fortune 500 companies, plus an opportunity to push the frontier of strategy. We want to change the way companies innovate and create value for their customers and for society as a whole. For me that is fulfilling and important work.
“Our north star is always on driving for excellence in everything we do.”
Since I finished university, I have been on a journey of discovery.
I experienced challenging work environments, from academia to private sector, lived in different countries and learned how to deal with people from other cultures.
But I took my own biggest step forward when I joined ECSI in 2012. Previously, I worked at the European Research Center of Harvard Business School in Paris, France. HBS broadened my perspectives and gave me a unique opportunity to work with leading scholars. To be honest, I was not sure about leaving academia. Joining ECSI was another part of the journey and, for me, it has proved to be the right road.
At ECSI, I can put my education into practice. Thanks to our collaborations with leading faculty members I can continue to work and shape the latest management ideas. But it is even more rewarding to understand the relevance and impact of our ideas to the challenges faced by our clients.
Continuous learning is the foundation of ECSI. It challenges me every day I come into work. And that’s what I want in a job and in a company. More importantly, it makes ECSI a greater company – project by project, client by client.
“The irony of consulting creates the opportunity for distinctive success.”
My experience as both a provider and recipient of consulting services is that successful engagements are really difficult to achieve. The true success rate is less than most are willing to admit.
As the same time, what business cannot benefit from the well designed and executed deployment of smart, focused, and innovative outsiders with no preconceived notions or axes to grind?
That is the irony of consulting, as well as its challenge. What, then, are the keys to success?
The first step is pinpointing and defining the problem or constraint, and, by extension, how eventual success should be defined and measured and by whom. If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail (Maslow). Creative problem solving starts with a diverse tool kit that preempts solution bias.
Content knowledge, methodology, and process are critical. But so also is the explicit recognition that success centers on people, and getting people to do what does not come naturally – which is to do differently than they’ve done before.
Therein also lies the satisfaction: to learn, communicate, adjust, and catalyze the breadth and depth of change that makes a big difference in the health and wealth of client organizations.
“Always be humble with what you know and ambitious with what you want.”
My prior consulting and marketing professional experiences helping organizations understand their customers and grow their market share taught me the crucial role of innovation within a company. Getting an MBA at Babson not only gave me more tools and skills but also the inspiration needed to revolutionize business strategies.
Today at ECSI, I keep learning and have the opportunity to genuinely explore, innovate and develop meaningful business models while learning from everyone around me. We build bridges and help companies to innovate and think differently by empowering the people who drive them.
I always surround myself with people, circumstances and challenges that bring out the best in me. I never stay in my comfort zone, I keep moving forward, but never at the expense of anyone else. I want to make sure that those who surround me are also growing, I am not afraid to make my potential their potential and vice versa.
ECSI’s collaborative teamwork, purpose and thought leadership truly push organizations, teams, and individuals to transcend and achieve remarkable results while never forgetting that “it takes an orchestra to play a great symphony…”
“Embrace the uncomfortable”
I’ve noticed a trend in my life: uncomfortable situations often precede powerful moments of learning and growth. My time at Boston University working towards my MBA was filled with uncomfortable moments leading to rewards: unfamiliar subjects and ambiguity lead to new ideas and understanding, navigating cultural differences lead to rewarding friendships, addressing poor teamwork lead to better results.
It was at BU where I had my first interaction with ECSI via a class project focused on platform business models. Since then I’ve worked as an ECSI consultant on numerous projects, helping clients develop and test innovative new business models, harness the power of autonomous teams, and innovating control structures to decrease the time and cost of decision making.
Innovation requires embracing discomfort. Challenging comfortable assumptions, making decisions faster and with less information, managing risk in new ways – to me, innovating is all about challenging what’s comfortable in search of something better.
“Anything is possible if you have enough nerve”
Being a global citizen is something I have always been proud of and valued. Having lived across 5 countries and 2 continents from a very young age, I quickly discovered the immense benefits of being able to immerse myself in different cultures and societal norms. More importantly, I learned to appreciate and cherish the value of interacting with different ways of thinking and mentalities.
I finished my undergraduate studies at the University of Washington in the US and my graduate studies at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. During and after my studies, I worked in diverse sectors across both continents and was fortunate enough to gather rich experiences that have shown me the path towards my true professional desires.
I have always welcomed a challenge and felt that one’s ability to adapt and thrive in ever-changing situations is of utmost importance. At ECSI Consulting, the nature of our work – driven by the opportunity to be constantly seeking and influencing innovative strategies and ideas across industries – keeps me constantly intrigued and engaged, knowing that there is always something more to be discovered and achieved.
“Life lies in diversity, not in monotony”
I have always been open to new challenges since I was a child. I lived in three different continents, worked in four different countries and met people from different cultural backgrounds. All these experiences thought me that there is always something to learn from everyone you cross paths with.
After completing the Double Degree in International Management between Bocconi University (Milan, Italy) and FGV-EAESP (Sao Paulo, Brazil), I worked as a Private Equity investment analyst at KFW-DEG (Development Investment Bank) in Sao Paulo (Brazil), gathering insights in different sectors (agribusiness, industrial and infrastructure) and performing in-depth financial analyses.
ECSI is an important step of my development journey. Exploring innovative, cutting-edge topics and collaborating with leading faculty members is an invaluable source of inspiration. Every project is a new challenge I can’t wait to tackle.
“Never cease to create value.”
My goal has always been to acquire as much knowledge and as many skills as possible and then to turn them into true value for myself and those I work with.
And so, I have studied in international settings in Germany, Holland and Italy and later gained professional skills in finance and investing, management and entrepreneurship.
With these skills and experiences the next challenge was to find a working environment where they could be maximized. Enter ECSI.
Here, I can put my skills to work to the benefit of our clients as well as my own development. By investing in knowledge and talent, ECSI offers a continuous learning experience. Through collaborations with leading scholars, we connect the latest groundbreaking ideas to the needs of our clients and to help them dynamically identify and meet their challenges.
But learning is just one part of the equation for me and ECSI. It’s equally important to work together with our clients to translate ideas into real value. In order to be able to deliver this unique value to our clients, we never stop – and can never stop — growing and learning.
“Listen. Understand. Learn.”
Since I was an adolescent, I had a passion of interacting and learning from people with different stories to tell and points of view.
My international journey began during high school with an exchange in Germany, and since then it never stopped: I did my MSc at Copenhagen Business School, an internship in Germany, an exchange semester in India.
Fascinated by the worlds of strategy and innovation, I then decided to start my career as a consultant.
At ECSI I have the chance to work with companies from many industries and countries, analyzing and leading their innovation journey while broadening my personal capabilities. Here, the impact of my background and training is maximized.
Working with ECSI’s international team I can collaborate, build relationships and gain knowledge from very different people. Everyone has the opportunity to learn (from junior to senior level), contribute to new ideas and make an impact with our clients.
Profile of our People
Nice, smart, humble, curious
Thanks to our global staffing, our people experience different cultural environments and grow not only as professional but also as individual.
Arrogance, show-off and individualistic attitudes are not part of our company culture. Our simple recruiting tag-line is: “We look for smart, nice and humble people with an extraordinary intellectual curiosity”.
Our MottoIdeas Lead. People Count. Results Matter.
Are you ready to grow yourself as a thought leader?
You will work for fast growth companies and large corporations across industries around the world; you will collaborate with thinkers from leading global business schools to develop new methodologies; and you will deliver business results while learning at a pace you didn’t know was possible.
Nurture your thought leadership and leave a mark in the world of ideas. Apply now!
If you want to apply for a position at ECSI please fill out the form below and submit your resume with a presentation letter stating your qualities, aspirations and why you would like to join: